What are some good business rewards card deals for end of year?
Your Business Credit
Elaine Pofeldt is a journalist whose articles on entrepreneurship and careers have appeared in Fortune, Working Mother, Money and many other publications. She is a former senior editor at Fortune Small Business magazine and an entrepreneur herself, as co-founder of 200kfreelancer.com, a website for independent professionals. She writes "Your Business Credit," a weekly column about small business and credit, for CreditCards.com.
Ask Elaine a question
or read her prior answers in the 'Your Business Credit' archive
Dear Your Business Credit,
I have to make a bunch of business purchases in the next
couple of months and am shopping around for a small business card. What cards
will help me get extra rewards at this time of year? -- John
December can be a good time to rack up rewards points if
you're making year-end purchases to maximize your business tax deductions.
Putting a computer, smartphone or other pricey items on your card is a good way
to rake in a bunch of points in one swoop.
There are a few interesting choices listed in the business credit cards directory at CreditCards.com that will let you get extra rewards
during the first three months you use the card.
Most are free the first year, and then charge you an annual fee, but there are
a few no-fee cards, too. The best deal for you depends on what you plan to buy
and what kind of rewards will be most useful to you.
One card where you can really rack up air miles is the CitiBusiness
AAdvantage World MasterCard. If you make $1,000 worth of purchases in the first
three months, you will get 30,000 bonus miles for American Airlines. You can
earn two AAdvantage miles for each $1 you spend on American Airlines purchases
and on items you buy at selected office supply, telecommunications and car
rental merchants. The card has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.
Another deal that may interest you if you're a frequent
traveler is the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, which offers 10,000
bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. This one might come
in handy if you need a card for your employees. If you sign up for one or more employee
card within the first two months, you're entitled to 5,000 extra bonus miles. You
can use the miles for any airline or travel expense, as well as cash back, gift
cards and other rewards. The bonus is smaller than the Citi AAdvantage
card's but the annual fee is also lower -- $59, waived the first year.
You can also score
50,000 bonus points with the Chase Ink Plus Business Card when you spend $5,000
in the first three months. The points can be transferred on a 1:1 basis to programs including United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or Southwest Rapid
Rewards. Or you can redeem for travel with other partners - at a 20 percent
discount -- by using the Chase Ultimate rewards portal.
If you're outfitting a new office, the Ink Plus could help
you offset your startup expenses. You earn 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000
you spend annually at office supply stores, and on cellphone, landline, Internet
and cable TV services. Earn 2 points per dollar on gas and travel expenses, 1 point per dollar on everything else. This one also has a $95 annual fee, waived
the first year.
Looking for a no-fee card? Chase has another offering, the
Ink Cash Business Card. It includes a $200 cash bonus if you spend $3,000
within the first three months of opening the account. Then you'll earn 5
percent cash back on the first $25,000 in annual purchases at office supply
stores, and on cellphone, landline, Internet and cable TV services; plus, 2
percent back on the first $25,000 spent
per year at gas stations and restaurants and 1 percent on all other purchases.
The Blue for Business credit card from American Express also
comes without an annual fee. After making your first purchase, you're entitled
to 10,000 Membership Rewards Points. You earn 1 point per dollar for everything
except purchases made on the AmEx travel
website, which earn 2 points per dollar. Points are redeemable for travel
purchases, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment. It's not the most
rewarding card but the costs of entry are very low.
As with all credit cards, it's important to pay attention to
the interest rates available to you. And use them only for purchases you
already planned to make. If you fall behind on paying off your purchases in the
coming year, that will
cancel out any benefits you received from earning the points.
See related: How to find the best credit card for your business, Mobile apps help track business credit card receipts, How wise is it to get a second small business credit card?
Meet CreditCards.com's reader Q&A experts
Vexed by a personal finance problem?
CreditCards.com's Q&A experts answer questions from readers every weekday. Ask a question, or click on any expert to see their previous answers.
Published: December 9, 2013
Three most recent Your Business Credit stories:
- Can I pass on charge-back fees to my customers? – When a customer disputes a charge directly with the card issuer, the merchant gets hit with a charge-back fee. Technically, you may be able to pass that on to the customer but it's probably not good business practice ...
- How can I change our business's merchant category code? – The wrong MCC for a hotel can short circuit charging privileges for corporate credit card holders and cost the hotel business. To fix the problem, you need to understand how the codes work ...
- Should I pay my business's bills by credit card? – Using plastic to pay contractors and other recurring business bills can be a good way to rack up rewards points and improve cash flow. But beware it does not become a crutch ...